When you take the stage to deliver your speech, you have wonderful things to say and you want to share things that will benefit your audience. You want to change your world by your ideas and your desires.
However, that is not going to happen if you lack the confidence to speak. That is why knowing how to build confidence is so important. It is one of the most important tools for any speaker.
So today, I will share some strategies that you can master, to speak more confidently in public and I dare say, in private.
Prepare your mind!
Even seasoned performers and successful speakers get nervous before going in front of people. Yes, I know!!! I also get nervous when I’m facing a crowd, especially if it’s a new crowd.
The difference between you and me, is that I accept it. I prepare my mind.
Now I know the reason why you are going to get better, is because henceforth, you are also going to prepare your mind..
This is what you must do if you will start speaking confidently in public. You must prepare your mind.
One way to prepare your mind before you start speaking is to know your material, know your subject matter, know your speech.
Know it like the back of your hand, know it so well you feel you own it.
Another way to build the preparation your mind is to practice Affirmations.
Say things like;
I am confident
I am bold
I am courageous
I am consistent
I am appealing
My audience loves me
Today, I crush my goals….
The more you say these kind of words, the better prepared your mind will be.
Prepare your body!
Preparing mentally is not enough if your body will not caryy your mind. You will need to learn how to control your breathing, how to control your voice, postures, your gestures and movements, on and off stage, you need to prepare how you control your eye contact with your audience.
So, If and when you come on stage and start speaking, you breathe erratically, you find that you will lose confidence. But if You learn to control your breathing, take deep breaths and let it carry through your entire body, you’ll find that you convey your message with better confidence.
Record a video of yourself presenting your speech. Yes I said it. Concentrate on your body language and projecting your voice. Review the video and see your strengths….what you did very well.
Why? Because, it is your strengths that will get your audience to love you and to accept you…..NOT your weaknesses.
Avoid looking at your weaknesses, look at your strengths.
practice those strengths until you cannot notice your weaknesses anymore.
If you had a smile on your face, keep smiling, if you had a strong voice, keep it even stronger.
If your gestures were purposeful, fantastic, keep going, avoid the temptation to notice your weaknesses, because weakness will make you afraid.
Weaknesses will reduce your confidence.
But your strengths will give you even more courage and more confidence. Keep practicing, practicing and practicing your strengths until you become as it were, perfect.
Rehearse, don’t memorise
True confidence comes from a place of knowing, not from a place of cramming or memorising. Because, if you forget what you memorised, you will chop your eye.
Several times I have seen speakers try to recall what they have memorised. They start-
“Ladies and gentlemen, Good morning.
Today we’d speak on XYZ.
So when I was coming this morning, I….I …..hmmm
Ladies and gentlemen, Good morning.
Today w’d like to speak on XYZ. So when I was coming this morning, I….uh…..I……”
And they repeat that start like 4 times because they’re trying to remember the word that was to come next.
Please, never in your life, fall I to the trap of memorising your speech. Have your notes in hand as a confident speaker, just in case you forget something that is in your memory, in your mind, in your knowing, not because you crammed it. You can always look at your notes from time to time, but of course I will always say, avoid reeeaaaadiiing from your notes.
When you memorise, you may forget your lines on stage, and thereby you will falter and show some lack of confidence. So rehearse , practice and then deliver your speech with confidence,
from your heart, and not from the head.
Pay attention to Grooming and your looks
All the practice, visualization, and feedback in the world will not get you anywhere if you do not look good.
How you present yourself will play a major role in how you feel and how your audience perceives you.
You know, anytime you dress well, you look at yourself in the mirror, you feel good, ghen ghen!! Your confidence just blows up through the roof.
Therefore, dress well to feel good and then your audience will feed off this good feeling that you have. And you will appear more co fident, and definitely speak more confidently.
Act like you own the stage
Because in fact, you do! Imagine yourself killing it up there, crushing your goals.
Be animated, energetic, confident. Your voice projecting so well, your audience is enthralled by your passion and you are making statements with authority, not in a condescending way, but in a friendly, passionate manner, yet with authority.
So Own the stage. Be in charge. Speak as if the life of your audience depends on your speech.